Alberta MLA''s Dilemma: Party Policy vs. Constituents'' Wishes

September 24, 2009 :: Guy Boutilier
Moderated by Knud Petersen

In a democracy, elected officials of all stripes are generally expected to primarily represent their constituents. However party policy sometimes makes it difficult to perform that task, particularly when their party form the government

Progressive Conservative MLAs in Alberta often find themselves having to make a choice of either speaking for their constituents, or act, which arguably is the norm, as the government’s mouthpiece to the constituents.

In July 2009, Guy Boutilier, at the time a P.C. MLA for Ft. McMurray-Wood Buffalo, spoke up on behalf of the people he represents, regarding an earlier promised, but postponed Long Term Care facility in Ft. McMurray and was promptly ejected from the P.C. caucus. The speaker will express his views on several issues and explain the events leading to him now serving Ft. McMurray-Wood Buffalo as an Independent MLA at the Alberta Legislature.

Speaker: Guy Boutilier

Guy Boutilier has a rare combination of Private, Public and Academic experience. He worked in the Oil Sands Industry for Syncrude Canada as a Financial Analyst 1978-83.

Mr. Boutilier served as Fort McMurray’s youngest mayor after two terms on city Council, before successfully entering provincial politics in 1997. Responsibilities the past 12 years includes: Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister of Environment and Minister of International Intergovernmental and Aboriginal relations. Guy chaired the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change, when he addressed the U.N. COPs 10 in Buenos Aires, Argentina on that topic.

Mr. Boutilier currently also teaches part-time at the School of Business at University of Alberta. He has a MPA Masters degree in Public Administration from Harvard University, a BBA Business degree from St.F.X. University and a B.Ed Education degree with honors from St Mary’s University in Halifax. Guy and his wife Gail have a 2 year old son Marc.

Moderator: Knud Petersen

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